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Q: I'm currently transitioning to veganism but I'm finding it difficult to find foods I like. I don't want to waste food if I don't like it and I'm a very picky eater, so I struggle with the idea of trying new foods. Do you have any tips with trying new foods? - Foodie
Thanks for your question. This is an issue I hear about quite a lot, so you are not alone. It can be difficult to adjust to new tastes and branch out and try new things. We like what we like, and as humans we are pre-wired to prefer to stick to our comfort zone. It is safe there.
That being said, going vegan does require trying new things, otherwise your diet will be very limited. Be patient with yourself. Developing new taste preferences takes time. I remember the first time I tried oat milk I thought it tasted like dirt water. I couldn't ever imagine liking it, or any other plant milk, ever. And now I can't get enough of the stuff.
It is said that it takes around 11 tries to accept new foods, so as I said be patient with yourself and be willing to give things a go more than once (or even two or three times). You could think of trying new foods as an experiment. Make a log book of new things you try and record how long it takes you to start to enjoy a new vegan food. How does the first time you eat the food compare to the fifth time? Does it take you 11 times, more or less until you start to like it? If you make a game of it like this it might be easier for you to get your head around eating "out of the box".
And of course you are not going to like everything you try. We all have unique preferences, but don't give up to too soon. This might inevitably involve a bit of wastage, but the goal of going vegan is definitely worth that. You will start to enjoy new foods. Your taste buds will adapt.
To reduce wastage, maybe you could join forces with some adventurous plant based eating friends and share new dishes. Or try to find a plant based buffet and load up on different options. Also start with small steps. Try foods that are more familiar and branch out from there.
The world of plant based foods is varied, exciting and super tasty. it might not be what you are used to right now, but give it time and before you know it you will be wondering what you were ever worried about.
Georgia Bamber is a vegan success coach based in the Southern Highlands NSW. Certified in coaching and plant based nutrition she knows a thing or two about embracing a vegan lifestyle. You can find out more about Georgia and how she can help you at www.successfullyvegan.com.
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